Mid-Winter Notes

We’ve got January behind us, which for the optimistic among us means the worst of winter is now behind us. It’s not gone of course, not by any means. But now that we’re half way through February I for one am starting to let myself feel a bit optimistic.

 

We’re back into the swing of things with the winter 202 0 edition of Crafting the Short Story. It’s a fun and creative group that I’m enjoying as we pass the halfway point of our session together. I’ll be following this up with another round of Introduction to Publishing on March 21st, then a short break before diving right back into Crafting the Short Story on April 20th.

 

In case you missed it, here’s the link to my interview with Allan Hudson of the South Branch Scribbler from earlier this month. Allan does a lot to promote the industry and those of us that toil within it. I know he’d appreciate it if you dropped in at the Scribbler’s website and had a look around. Odds are good you’ll discover something there that catches your eye – maybe even a new author to add to your list of favorites.

 

Elsewhere, last summer I cobbled together a collection of my short stories which I submitted to an open call for consideration. Still awaiting word on that. I think it’s a solid collection, so we’ll see how that goes. Additionally my second novel, Seventeen Skulls, has been sent to my publisher. I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on with that as things progress.

 

Speaking of updates and news, if you click here and enter your name and email address you”ll get updates right to your inbox hot off the presses. Feel free to invite your friends to sign up, too. The more the merrier, I say! And who knows, maybe you know someone who would find my stuff is right up their alley.

 

One final note for the day: my usual plea for reviews. I appreciate all the support for Terror in High Water. Lots of you have written or spoken to me about how much you enjoyed it, for which I’m very pleased and grateful. It would really make my day if those of you who did read and enjoy the book could take a few minutes to pop over to Amazon or Goodreads (or both, if you’re feeling motivated) and leave a short review to let others know what you thought of it. It can be as long or as short as you want – they all help increase exposure and get it in front of a wider audience.

 

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time!

-JP

The Year That Was

The year is winding down rapidly – time for one last post before we roll over into the 2020s. As a sort of recap I thought I’d take a look back at 2019 as it unfolded from my perspective. As it turns out there’s quite a lot to review!

The biggest news, for me at least, was the release of Terror in High Water. I can’t say enough how pleased I am with how it turned out, and the kind words and support I’ve received. It’s widely available on numerous platforms in paperback and ebook.

My story, The Grand Finale, appeared in the Deadly Bargain anthology. It too was well received, and I’m proud of my inclusion in its pages.

The Canadian Dreadful anthology was next. This was a learning experience that contains a version of my story, The Sound of Passing Traffic.

Speaking of learning experiences, this fall saw the debut of my new course, An Introduction to Publishing. It’s a one-day seminar that’s a sort of companion piece to my Crafting the Short Story course. Both are offered through UNB’s College of Extended Learning and will continue into 2020 and beyond.

High Water has drawn interest locally in a few ways. A signed copy was included as part of a prize package offered by Fred-E-Scene, which is a showcase of local news, business, arts and leisure, and more. It’s a great resource that I highly recommend for anyone in or around the area.

I recently did an interview with Allan Hudson, founder and driving force behind the South Branch Scribbler. It was a cool experience in which we discussed a variety of topics. You’ll be able to check out in the coming weeks – I’ll keep you posted there.

Another “I’ll keep you posted” item is my first foray into children’s horror. Mother Ghost’s Grimm is a multi-part series focused on horror (age appropriate, obviously) for young children. Volume One, which includes a number of my friends, released earlier this month. I’ve got a story called The Little Ones in the forthcoming Volume Two, in which I’ll share pages with many other friends and my better half, Sheryl. She’s got a new release as well, an all-Canadian anthology called Creatures in Canada. It’s got a great author list and lots of cool stories. Worth a look!

Lastly, even though it won’t see the light of day until well into the new year: I’ve sent my second novel, Seventeen Skulls, to my publisher just before Christmas. It’s far too early in the process to divulge any more than that, but as with everything else on the horizon, I’ll keep you posted.

Have a safe and Happy New Year. Thank you for your support and all the cool experiences. See you on the other side!

-JP

Winter All-Purpose Post

Today’s post is a bit of a catch-all, as I bring you up to speed on some of the things going on in my chilly little piece of the world.

First, Terror in High Water is rolling along and getting some positive feedback. I’m grateful for the kind words and all the attention it’s been getting. Watch for reviews, spotlights and interviews, and more in the New Year.

As an aside, books make great Christmas gifts. For those unable to flee south and escape Old Man Winter, well… it’s always hot in the little Texas town of High Water.

Speaking of Terror in High Water, it recently received its first five-star review. You can read it here. I’ve also added a page on my site dedicated solely to High Water, which you can check out here.

The Fred-E-Scene holiday wishbook was released right on schedule and received with much enthusiasm. Thanks to the management and staff for being so cool to work with.

Also – and I’m sorry I didn’t know about this earlier – 13 Horror Street made High Water their Scream of the Day on release day.

Another first for me: I get to share a table of contents with my better half! I mentioned this briefly before, but I figure it bears repeating as we creep closer to the launch date. To recap:  it’s a slight departure for me, but we’ve delved into the world of children’s literature: horror edition. Presenting the Mother Ghost’s Grimm anthology. Here’s a little peek at the cover art. Sheryl and I will appear in volume 2.

Little Ones

Fun stuff. Looking forward to this cool project.

More to come later. Stay warm, stay safe. Talk to you soon!

– JP

 

Buy a Book, Leave a Review

It’s been a week since Terror in High Water hit the market, and the buzz is growing slowly but steadily as word gets around. The idea that my book is out there being read by friends and strangers alike is amazingly cool. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it. An inexpensive and effective way to do that is to write a review.

Reviews sell books, there’s no doubt about it. Word of mouth is, far and away, the best advertising a book can receive. It doesn’t cost anything, only takes a few minutes, and goes a long way toward exposing good books to potential readers. Here are a couple of readers’ comments:

“…takes the reader on a dusty ride that shows you the path to redemption can be something you would never expect in such vivid colours of suspense and conflict.”

 

“As the reader is taken on the suspenseful journey you can picture the town, its citizens and the anxiety.”

If you’ve read Terror in High Water and enjoyed the journey, it would be wonderful if you could pop over to Amazon (or Smashwords, or wherever you purchased your copy) and leave a nice review. Let others know it’s worth stepping into 19th century Texas for a glimpse at that little town of High Water. I would certainly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

-JP

The Day After

I woke up this morning to my social media feeds letting me know that a ton of people wanted to wish me a happy birthday. It’s always a pleasant surprise, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

This year it’s an extra special celebration, as it comes just one day after the release of my first novel. I know I’ve spoken a lot about this in the last little while, and I’m doing my best not to overload you. I just have a few new points to make this morning and then I’ll leave you in peace for the day.

As of last night there is now a dedicated page to High Water, where I’ll add related cool things such as videos and reviews. Feel free to take a look, it’ll be updated periodically.

You can get posts and updates emailed directly to you by adding your email address here.

In addition to Amazon – where it’s doing rather nicely, I might add – my novel is also available directly from World Castle’s ebook store. You can find all of the World Castle titles here, often at lower prices than other platforms.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge FNAC which, for those who don’t know, is a retailer based in France that happens to sell books, including mine.

By far the best advertising is happy readers. There’s no substitute for a personal endorsement, whether through word of mouth, Amazon reviews, or just telling others you think would enjoy something you’ve read. If you’ve read and enjoyed Terror in High Water, thank you. Please consider giving it a nice review. Or tell a friend. Or both.

-JP